June 18, 2013 at 3:35 PM ET
The prevalence of GPS in cars and smartphones makes it a popular option for getting where you're going. But according to a survey by Michelin, it still leads drivers astray occasionally, and many still rely on plain old paper in one form or another.
Over 2,000 adults responded to an online survey querying their driving habits. GPS was named by 30 percent as their preferred driving aid, but 40 percent still reported using physically printed maps or directions when traveling to unfamiliar areas.
Not surprisingly, fans of printed maps tend to be a bit older. 44 percent of those between 44 and 54 kept paper maps in the car, 10 percent more than respondents under 34. And more than twice as many in the younger group (32 percent) use a smartphone or tablet device than in the older.
Yet the same group that relies less on paper reported more times when the GPS has led them the wrong way or otherwise given bad directions: 6.3 times on average, versus 4.4 times in the older set. The survey did not include questions on how long or how often respondents had been using GPS, though, so this number may reflect any number of things.
More details on how GPS and paper maps usage breaks down between regions and sexes can be found at the Michelin study's press release here.
Devin Coldewey is a contributing writer for NBC News Digital. His personal website is coldewey.cc.